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Do I have nomophobia?


A few days ago my uncles visited the house. They haven’t seen my parents for a long time. Shortly after his arrival, I found it amusing and disturbing at the same time: when my mother started making coffee, everyone was completely immersed in their mobile phones. This is how the proposed meeting for conversation and communication went. The room was full, but there was no verbal communication.

I take as an example what happened because of the “normality” with which these situations occur in the current context. Although technophilia (addiction to technology) has existed since the end of the last century, in the last decade an even more powerful tenant has emerged: nomophobia or the fear of being left without a mobile phone, proof of total addiction.

The advent of cell phones, more convenient and portable tools that can accompany us throughout our travels, has marked – and will continue to do so – new patterns of communication and learning, as well as a new way of life. During the pandemic, digital engagement has increased not only for leisure activities, but also as an alternative to a period of social isolation during the health crisis.

As you might expect, the younger generation is most affected by this addiction due to their inexperience with other types of interactions, seeking entertainment, typical adolescent communication problems, and striving to create modern ideals in adolescence.

All these groups belong to the so-called millennials or digital natives, who find it much easier to operate in the virtual plane, since they have lived with it since birth. But older people are also being drawn into the digital revolution and social media. They came to it because of work and the need to improve themselves or communicate with family, and then got hooked for leisure, watching the content of their choice.

The use of this technology is so widespread that the numbers speak for themselves. According to the Digital 2022 survey by websites We are social and Hootsuite, last January the number of Internet users on mobile devices reached 5.31 billion: 67.1 percent of the world’s population; and social media assets totaled 4.650 million, figures that should show significant growth a year later.

Cuba is no exception to this dynamic. In recent days, Tania Velasquez Rodriguez, Executive President of ETECSA, confirmed that in 2022 the number of users connected to the Internet via mobile phone has grown by more than a million: already 6.7 million customers are able to navigate. There are also 274,000 connected homes: 22,000 more services than the previous year.

The negative consequences of dependence on cell phones, which surpass even computers, can be very diverse. First, spending more than four hours a day in front of screens makes daily tasks difficult and affects interpersonal relationships or displays of physical affection. When this addiction is very strong, it even overrides attention to physiological needs such as food or sleep.

There are countless visual and mental health damages and effects on the joints of the hands, forearms and neck due to prolonged use of a mobile phone, not counting the withdrawal syndrome when not using a mobile phone. nearby, as if it were a drug.

To all these problems, we must add the dark side of social media, where data capitalism, audience stratification and filter bubbles are at work, which cause many people to experience very difficult moments in cyberspace, almost always due to ignorance of these risks. which makes us rethink these habits.

We need to think like people used to, as the users of this universe are driven by algorithms that unknowingly dominate us, for better or worse, and force us to live in an obsessive screen society.

Source: Juventud Rebelde



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